It was a weekend of firsts in the SWHL, as Wilkie lost its first game, albeit in a shootout to Macklin on Saturday, and also in a game involving the Outlaws was the first two female officiated game. North Battleford’s Jessica Coleman and Britt Danberg got the honour of wearing the red bands and calling penalties and goals on Sunday afternoon.
West Central Online caught up with both Coleman and Danberg, to discuss the matter, and a background of what both women do in their work lives.
Danberg is OPN at the Battleford Union Hospital, and Coleman is a teacher in Cando, who just got back from her maternity leave on Monday. Danberg has been back reffing for six years after doing so in her minor hockey days and Coleman has been on the ice for 20 years. Both women have a ton of experience officiating hockey in Saskatchewan and Danberg and Coleman have both reffed and linsed CIS Women’s hockey in the past. Coleman has done some SJHL games in North Battleford for the North Stars, and Danberg hopes to one day join Coleman on the SJHL scene as well.
Coleman has done National tournaments in the past and hopes to eventually do an international tournament after getting her Level 5 officiating, which is the highest level in Canada to achieve. This was Danberg’s first taste of the SWHL this past Sunday, and Coleman has been doing senior hockey for the past five years or so, when she moved to North Battleford from Ontario.
Coleman is involved with the Hockey Saskatchewan officials as the female development coordinator for the province, and working with Hockey Canada building standardized clinics, and helping young female officials getting to the next generation’s Olympics.
Both women are hoping to reach the Olympics or some other international competition before their careers are over. They encourage everyone with a hockey background, not just the girls and ladies, to become an official if your hockey career is winding down to stay part of the game.